Live action Disney classic available in rental format this week

Walt Disney Pictures

James Earl Jones and JD McCrary in “The Lion King.”

While movies are normally released on Tuesdays through rental outlets, this week one of Disney’s most popular live action films “The Lion King,” will be releasing tomorrow for the prime weekend rental.

Donald Glover (“Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Atlanta”) takes the helm as lead character Simba, but it was the casting of singer Beyoncé Knowles as Nala that has seemingly drawn the most attention.

In an interview on Oprah’s OWN network, Knowles said, “I’m so excited for my kids to see it, but it means even more to share this experience and this culture of The Lion King with my mother and my family,” she said.

Twenty-five years after the original animated film was released, James Earl Jones (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Coming to America”) will reprise his role as Simba’s father, Mufasa.

The rest of the cast includes: John Oliver (“The Smurfs” and “The Love Guru”) as Zazu, John Kami (”Black Panther” and “Ghost in the Darkness”) as Rafiki and Seth Rogan (“Superbad” and “Knocked Up”) and Billy Eichner (“Angry Bird Movie” and “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”) as the lovable duo of Pumbaa and Timon.

Surprisingly, despite the popularity of the film, the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes shows a poor response from critics with just a 59 percent rating on the Tomatometer.

“While it can take pride in its visual achievements, ‘The Lion King’ is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved, though for some fans that may just be enough,” said the critic’s consensus on Rotten Tomatoes.

Audiences on the other hand show the film a little more love with an 88 percent approval rating.

Directed by Jon Favreau, the film is rated PG for sequences of violence and peril, and some thematic elements.

Other films releasing to the box office this weekend include:

n “Dauntless: The Battle of Midway,” directed by Mike Phillips and staring C. Thomas Howell, Judd Nelson, James Austin Kerr and Jade Willey. Two American pilots are tasked with executing a surprise attack that could help turn the tides of war against the Japanese Navy. During the mission, the pilots are forced to abandon their plane, set adrift in the Pacific, and wait to be saved. The film is based on a true story.

This film is not rated.

n “Encounter,” directed by Paul Salamoff and staring Luke Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Cheryl Texiera, Tom Atkins and Sarah Booth. A group of friends discover a strange object while hanging out in a field. They take it home to examine it further and find out that it’s alive. It then attaches itself to one of them and shows him secrets that could endanger them all.

This film is not rated.

The synopsis for these two films is taken from redbox.com.

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